The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate to handover within 24 hours feeding tubes imported from the United States to a cancer survivor who is unable to eat without these tubes due to a surgery he underwent.
Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice NR Borkar were hearing the writ petition filed by Samir Patel who sought release of the parcel containing 'Osmolite Nutrio N-Food for Tube Feeding Patient'.
Senior Advocate Venkatesh Dhond appeared on behalf of the petitioner and Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared on behalf of respondent authorities including the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate.
At first, ASG Singh sought to join the aforesaid Commissioner as a respondent in the matter which was allowed. Then, the Court directed DHL to file the Bill of Entry with the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate in in the next one hour and asked ASG Singh to forward the email address of the Commissioner to the petitioner through his office.
Court asked the petitioners to fill up Form No.7 (for Customs Duty Exemption certificate) and forward it to the Commissioner of Customs who has been directed to process the documents received and ensure that the parcel containing 'Osmolite Nutrio N-Food for Tube Feeding Patient', is handed over to the petitioner's advocates or their representative within 24 hours.
In December 2016, the petitioner was diagnosed with oral cancer and due to remedial surgical operations, his intake of food/nutrients is only possible through a feeding tube. The feeding tubes are required to be imported from time to time from the USA. The petitioner has imported four boxes of such feeding tubes from the US through the DHL Courier Agency.
However, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo Complex withheld the said packets on grounds unclear to the petitioner.
In Tuesday's hearing, the petitioner contended that the said feeding tubes are not available in India and there is also no alternative available. Moreover, the petitioner has a stock of the feeding tubes which will last only for a very few days.
This matter will now be heard on June 22 at 11 am.
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